Too busy fighting the alligators to drain the swamp? That’s how my friend felt the other day. Not quite overwhelmed, but feeling like he was letting people down. Now my friend is one of these handsome, humble, hardworking types (known as H3 in the typology). So for him to admit that it is becoming all too much is a big thing.
So I shared with H3 my three steps to draining the swamp. First, admit defeat. Second, renegotiate expectations. Third, learn the word “no”.
By admitting defeat, we are acknowledging that we have limited resources, and have to choose what we spend our time on. Of course, we have to admit defeat to those that are expecting work from us, and be honest about our ability to deliver. Then, we need to renegotiate deliverable dates with those same people. Not easy, but necessary. Then, in order to drain the swamp, we have to avoid accepting further work, at least until the low-level sense of panic goes away.
Simple, in theory. Hard to do gracefully. Yet it’s better to do fewer things well than to cling to the many things and do them badly.